DVD Review: 'Community' Season One
Remember when we had to wait until a show was a perennial classic, and then they’d start putting out a season at a time on DVD? Heck, remember when they started doing TV on DVD? Now we can expect every new show in a ready to own package. “Community” is a good one because the creators can play with the DVD extras the same way they go meta with the sitcom format.
A feature called “Creative Compromises” is just a big fart joke, but it’s funny “Community” style because of how elaborate and meta it is. “Season One Cast Evaluations” is a promising original comedy piece where Dan Harmon evaluates the cast to figure out why the ratings dropped. It feels like improv and it’s not hilarious until Ken Jeong starts giving medical diagnoses on his costars. They intercut audition footage which is always curious to see and compare. I think most of the actors nailed it.
The extras to see are the deleted and alternate scenes because those are just more “Community” riffs. If they did a scene twice, you know Chevy Chase went crazy each time. There are different reels of outtakes on each of the four discs. That’s a lot of flubbed lines or misfired improvs. They say the F word when they mess up and on DVD they don’t bleep it. Joel McHale touches Gillian Jacobs inappropriately too.
3 mini-episodes are the “Study Break” shorts from NBC.com, but I don’t watch those online extras so I’m glad they’re included here. Two of them are pretty funny “Community” style riffs. Every character gets something to do in the 90 second short so it’s a good bonus.
There’s a commentary on every episode by some combination of the cast, creators and directors. The few I selected are pretty straight commentaries. They do analyze the show and refer to Twitter questions and critics’ reports. They keep it fun with some banter but “Community” die hard will appreciate the serious analysis.